ITV drops next year’s Saturday Night Takeaway

This comes as Ant McPartlin confirms when he'll return to TV

ITV has announced that Saturday Night Takeaway will not return for 2019.

Last series was fraught with drama this year, when Ant McPartlin pulled out near the end of the run.

Co-star Dec Donnelly presented the final two shows himself, and was roundly applauded for his solo skills.

But the decision has been made by him and Ant to leave the show for next year.

A statement released on their website explains that filming for next year’s show would normally have begun, and neither of its stars wants to compromise the quality.

The announcement also reveals that Ant, 42, will not return to television until 2019, so he will not be presenting this autumn’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

In full, the statement reads: “Ant McPartlin today announces he will continue to take a break from all television presenting roles until 2019.

“Ant will not present I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in November this year.

“In addition Ant and Dec have made the joint decision not to present a new series of ‘Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’ in Spring 2019.

“Production and filming for a Saturday Night Takeaway series in February would normally have already started, and continue throughout 2018 and early 2019.

“Neither Ant & Dec nor ITV wanted to compromise the quality of the show and therefore felt it was better to rest the series next year. They will instead bring the show back in 2020, bigger and better than ever.

“Ant says: ‘My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off.

“‘I’d like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the new year.’

Ant also updated fans on his recovery (Credit: Splash)

“Dec adds: ‘Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision.

“‘I’m looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019.'”

Dec fully supports his friend’s decision (Credit: ITV)

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ITV Director of Television Kevin Lygo said: “ITV is completely supportive of Ant taking as much time as he needs in his recovery and of this mutual decision to rest Takeaway in 2019. Ant is clearly making good progress and we wish him all the very best and look forward to him returning to ITV next year.

“An announcement on I’m A Celebrity plans will be made in due course.”

Ant has been taking a break from work to deal with personal issues.  His problems with alcohol and prescription medication came to light last June.

After a stint in rehab over the summer, Ant, 42, returned to TV to present I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, alongside Dec in November last year.

Ant pulled out of Saturday Night Takeaway in March this year, after he was involved in a drink-drive crash near in south-west London.

Do you think Ant has made the right decision? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!

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